tv Washington Journal CSPAN December 27, 2010 7:00am-10:00am EST
klein looks at new food legislation passed by congress. we begin with the the day's news and your e-mails, and tweets. "washington journal" is next. host: good morning, and welcome to "washington journal." today is monday, december 27. many of the folks travelling will be adding to the number of people who use mass transit. the question -- can mass- transit be protected? they talk about the numbers of
subways and trains making it tough and we will get to that story in a few seconds. here are the numbers -- if you called us in the last month, put down the phone and hit us up electronically. you can send e-mail. the address -- as we mentioned, the question is can mass-transit be protected. we get it from the front page of this morning's "usa today" business section. the picture of national guard security personnel in grand central station in new york city.
our first call regarding the question -- can mass-transit be protected -- comes from the el centro, california, on our line for republicans. joseph, you are on "washington journal." caller: i actually do believe the public transportation systems as far as the buses, trolleys, etcetera, etcetera, because, first of all, the fbi monitors goes to every day and even and the bus stations themselves they have cameras all over. i believe actually technically you can literally -- completely safe. host: correct me if i am wrong,
but there is and light rail that runs through part of southern california, correct? is all centro serviced by that? caller: actually, negative but all the way up to l.a. it goes all the way, for instance, to san burgundy no county and also can go all the way up north, to to sacramento. host: have you written on the train system? do you feel safe? caller: yes. the: let's go to sydney in l.a., california. a lot of folks up in california this morning. caller: i believe there is plenty of room to have protection -- also with local trance -- mass-transit if we just did not -- focusing so much on just war and terroristic
things. i think if we had the military, back, with no jobs, if we put those -- them in a situation where they could trade for this it would be ok the terms of protecting public transit. host: have you ridden the light rail in southern california? how you feel when you ride? caller: very safe. host: gaithersburg, maryland, on our line for democrats. you are on "washington journal." and caller: good morning to you and your audience. i am trying to imagine the cost and stress to our already bogged down nation as far as security is concerned. metro stations now have random bad inspections. i don't have a pop -- problem with that. they would just look through things and find out what did you have something. many civil libertarians -- i am
not putting them down -- everybody is questioning their right of the fourth amendment and all of that, which is good. however, what happens when another attack occurs? in know what i see? specter of three to five years, full body scan and a metro system -- in a metro system. unimaginable. how can we do this when we have so many serious problems now with kids growing up tried to blow up armed forces recruiting centers, then the pentagon's shooter has not been found yet. the person shooting at the recruiting station in virginia -- host: have you been on the metro? have you been through union station? caller: i go all over, sir. i don't have a problem. if you just relax and be yourself, you would not have a problem. but the minute something happens, sir, the first thing the public will be asking, where were you guys? we have enough problems conduct metro station with the kids and
the rowdy behavior. some of them act like complete animals -- fighting, cursing, disrespecting the elderly, doing things but just unimaginable. the robberies, the situation is going on there -- and we have a serious problem. i don't think this country to deal with it but cannot ever, there may be a time we need the national guard out here just to attack us. we are just bogged down with some much. host: we will leave their. more from the article in "usa today" business section.
back to the phones. our topic -- can mass-transit be protected? aberdeen, south carolina. myron on the line for republicans but caller: i really believe they could be protected but what we have to do is get the fbi and cia not setting these guys out. everyone of these terrorists that have been arrested, we find out first of all -- fbi handler making the bomb, working with them for six months and getting them to pull off these terrorist acts. if we just stop the fbi and the different agencies from our government to set up these people to perform these terrorist activities -- they
will diminish over night. we just get our government to stop doing it. if they are planning on doing it -- they want to take all of our freedoms away, the reason why we have all of the airport scanners. all part of a plan. host: part of the article in the "usa today" says perhaps the only way to make subway and rail cars secure is to screen every passenger similar to what csa -- tsa and some private contractors. what do you think about that? caller: the people in germany did not mind, either. they did not realize what they were getting themselves into. the government wants to take all of our rights of way and that is the reason for all of these terrorist activities. host: we will leave it there. on twitter we have this message
-- our next call on -- comes from donald on our line for independent in new hampshire. caller: i think it probably can be protected but where does it stop? what is next? protect the malls, hospitals, public schools? pretty soon 10 years from now on everybody will be body scan. my opinion, the terrorists are winning and we have to take a break on this. next up is dallas, texas, on our line for independents. caller: i know it is covered by
the constitution and have the freedom to say and do whatever they want, but in my opinion they are just feeding the terrorists ideas year ever -- year after year on how to terrorize us. they may also defeating homeland security on how to defeat these ideas. but is there nothing that can be done to placate this in any way? host: that is banned in dallas, texas. several callers mentioned body scanning and there is an article also and "usa today" under the headline -- study says body scanners effectiveness limited. he writes --
back to the phones. marblehead, massachusetts, on our line for republicans. you are on "washington journal." caller: thank you for c-span. i do not think there is a practical way of making public transportation secure because the job would just be too gigantic. i do know that if we give up our liberties and freedom to get security we will probably get night there. -- neither.
i think the best way to diminish terrorism is for us to get out of the afghanistan and iraq wars. host: the next call is fox worth, texas, on our line for democrats. caller: i agree with what was just said. but the issue overall has to be addressed. those that cause the terrorists to want to attack the merkel war -- america more. i am sure hugh hefner does not have to go to the same screening as the average joe. a mass transit will be protected as the need arises. but we need to address the issue and lifestyle and arrogance the scene overseas. we pay more for a barrel of oil because the military is over there. what i actually think should be done is take the budget of
israel and give it to the palestinians. we no longer give you the money. we now give it to the palestinians. host: let us move to markets in atlanta, georgia, on our line for independents. indeed thing mass-transit can be protected, and tell us about your experience on the marta in atlanta? caller: it is not too bad. i did not write a whole lot. -- do not ride in a whole lot. but we should not give up freedoms for protection. like when german said, would we stop? -- like one gentleman said, when do we stop? we have a right to bear arms. if you feel that threatened, character around a fire arms permit and you can protect yourself that way.
we don't need the government to play daddy for us. we are adults. host: you think the solution would be far more citizens to be armed and protecting themselves, not necessarily worried about what government will do? caller: i think more citizens need to be more responsible for themselves in that sense. we always want somebody else to protect us or to give us money or to give us a handout, we need to be responsible for ourselves. we consult the government finally, no, we can protect ourselves. we have been doing it for almost 300 years. it has not been an issue. now all of the sudden because of these strategic places where some incidents have happened, all of the sudden we have to be afraid? fear is what is going to guide this country into somebody else's hands. we should be able to keep it in our hands and keep this country
free and protected. host: we got this twitter message from davidian who writes under the moniker -- austin, texas. a barber on our line for independent. go ahead. caller: i do not think it is possible to protect the entire transit system. but i wanted to respond to an earlier caller, i think from south dakota and he was criticizing the fbi and cia for spending six months investigating possible terrorist. there is no way to arrest them and put them behind bars without spending the time necessary to get the evidence to put -- convict them. if they just immediately arrest some of whom said they will blow
hot springs, arkansas, on our line for democrats. caller: we have to change our ways -- quit spending our treasure on other people. host: are these areas targeted or are the folks over there, u.s. military, should be brought back here to stand guard? caller: our continued presence keeps in boiling. we need to change our energy ways and change ourselves as a country of we plan on solving this problem. host: the lead story in "the new york times" -- taliban fighters.
how you pronounce the name of their town? caller: manahawken? host: suburb of new york or philadelphia? caller: no, south of the jurors. near atlantic city did you spend a lot of time on the rail? -- host: do you spend a lot of time on the route -- rail? caller: if they let them profiling, it would cure a lot of it. it may not be the total answer. but i know getting out of afghanistan and that will not change anything because that is why we are there because we had these problems here. host: dover, ohio, mike is calling us on the line for independents. can mass-transit in the u.s. be protected? caller: the assumption you are making is not the same thing.
in an airline, the access is getting on the airplane. once it is in the air, the event will take place up in the air or on the airplane. so, somebody either got on the airline or put something on the airline. on the train, i do not have to be on the train to derail the train or alter anything with the bus. that could happen on the track and there is no way you can defend the number of miles of track that we have? last thing i would do to get on the train to do it. the only way on an airliner to get on the airliner itself or airplane. i do not see how you are going to have to screen people on the trains. if i've got the bridge span over the mississippi river wired to blow. host: dover, ohio. praising pakistan bought the counter insurgency -- that line
brother, mother, father, round the world, we would not have that. host: let us move to cleveland, ohio, on our line for democrats. caller: happy holidays, everyone. host: can mass-transit be protected? caller: i think the idea of mass transit is just another international market development. like all international situations, whether it is international banking, international oil, international security. that it's got -- to be looked at more carefully. if market development on an international scale and the
security of the country. and possibly the world, if this thing escalates to all airports, which is what i conceive. i don't see any good coming from the loss of our freedoms. a we are involved in the international oil -- it does not work for us. international banking, it does not work for us. host: we will leave it there. this op-ed piece in the "wall street journal" says --
that is the thought to this morning of mark halperin. and op-ed piece in the "wall street journal." portland, maine, on our line for independents. can mass-transit be protected? caller: if we were actually serious about putting the people responsible, the "terrorist" activities in jail and the fbi hiring people, dupes and it leads into doing things. if people like yourself and all the media are serious about looking into what was behind 9/11, for instance, you would not be playing the post-9/11 mind game on as all which is really an act of terror.
the media, you still promote the entire official myth, conspiracy myth that gets us to have naked body scanners, broken-down, total police state imposing on us. we can stop the terror it we are serious. host: barre in chicago on our line for democrats. we lost barry. let us go to "the washington post" won a federal page. they talk about of the health care law need title reform. lin seafinim mary --
she goes on to say that democratic pollsters perceive that there is a problem. that's a the phones. new jersey on our line fault -- host: back to the phones. new jersey on the line for independent. caller: i commuted from northern new jersey about two years every day into manhattan. i took the path train down to world trade cut -- world trade
center. i would sit and think to myself, it would not take much to cause a lot of damage. hundreds of people packed into these trains every day. i have seen maybe a handful of police officers and that frightens me, it scares me. it is not protected and it would take a huge amounts of effort to protect its properly. i don't know if it is possible. host: are you still riding the train into new york? caller: i actually moved down to jacksonville to go to school -- i am pretty young, only 24. but i commuted into the city to do ironwork, i was an iron worker. host: carrying a lot of equipment -- hard hat or tool box? caller: occasionally i would
carry a backpack. but everyday occurrence where you would see backpackers carrying huge backpacks, unencumbered by police or any sort of law enforcement. it would not take much effort at all to cause a huge disaster, at the proportions. host: cleveland, ohio. go ahead. caller: what i would have to say about it is, let us just to be realistic about this. i cannot pointing the blame at no one percent -- specific person or band of people, but america has created so many enemies around the globe from over the years and centuries of just doing things that of regular folks just don't know about, that people in other
countries may be more kind of aware of these things. we are the ones left in the dark about what is really going on. those people are so angry at us -- bad karma is coming back and we have to pay the price of what those idiots in washington and the military has been doing and secret people and stuff. it is so out of hand that in order to protect us from every little possible thing that those people might want to get even with us about, really would have to take almost everything away from us. host: we will leave it there. we have this from the associated press out of rome. italian police and firefighters responded to a suspicious package in front of the greek embassy in rome. the discovery monday follows package bombs that exploded friday at chelation and swiss embassies, injuring two people
who open -- opened them -- chi lean and swiss and the seas. out of london -- british police charged nine men with terror related conspiracy. west midlands police say nine out of 12 men arrested last week will face charges monday that they conspired to cause explosions in the u.k. and other terror-related offenses. police say the other three suspects arrested during a sweep last week have been released without charge. minneapolis. patty on our line for republicans. caller: good morning. am i ever glad you just read that because my answer is, no, diane sawyer was interviewing clapper, head of nih and she asked him what he thought about what happened in london and he did not even have a clue.
deere and the headlights. -- deer in the headlights. had no idea about the bomb plot ordered in london. janet incompetano -- no, we are at the mercy. borders are open, they cannot come through. the people in washington are incompetent. it so we are going to leave it there. thank you for your call. we want to remind the viewers we are going to be talking about mr. clapper and his response to the question posed by diane sawyer a little bit in our discussion regarding the threat of home grown terrorism, that will be with steven emerson, executive director of the investigative project on terrorism. that conversation coming up in about 10 minutes.
columbia, connecticut. gregory on our line for democrats. ken buck public transportation be protected? caller: i believe it can. i think it can be protected by rethinking our foreign policy. we cannot possibly live the way we are living and continue to think that we can stop these mad people from attacking us without rethinking of how we are going to address that situation. that is in large part -- and everybody knows, it has to do with oil. sincerely i think that we have to rethink our foreign policy, the way we are fighting terrorism. statistically, yes, there is a possibility of a terrorist attack but rationally when we look at it, we get into our car and drive to work every day, it is by far more dangerous thing that we do on a daily basis than
the likelihood of that we are going to be attacked by terrorists. host: we are going to leave it there. thank you for the call. kevin sack rights in "the new york times" this morning -- another story regarding public health is in "the wall street journal" this morning. medicare set to reimburse doctors for end of life talks.
that is the story in this morning's "wall street journal." atlanta, georgia, on our line for republicans. 10 mass-transit be protected? caller: not in the traditional sense because there are some many access points, same way air transit cannot be protected because in winter when everyone is wearing heavy coats, they can blow themselves up inside the airport, next to the fancy useless scanners and everybody dies anyway. the problem is, with the muslims and arabs -- i keep drawing on an analogy is when you kick a friendly dog and of times and eventually it will bite you.
-- enough times. we have such a lousy foreign policy which has been awful for 30 and 40 years, there is no wonder other countries can -- if we change our foreign policy, the terrorism policies -- could go away. not about protecting the american public -- becoming sheep. the business concept of providing expensive scanners for a few people. host: we are going to leave it there. in this morning's "washington times," u.s. focusing more on rail and hotel security. joseph weber writes --
-- about the screeners at airports saying there is too much security. i cannot figure out for the life of me why should people feel like one thing is better than the other? we have to do this thing and we are going to have to do it however we have to do it. host: what do you think is the best solution to the problem? caller: let the people who know what they are doing, get it done. get out of the way. we have a constitution. if it gets out of hand, we know what to do. but right now, there is nothing wrong did go through the machine and get it done. host: ct in rhode island on the line for independents. caller: thank you very much. i think what we need to do is exercise our constitutional rights the way the founding
fathers intended. as for the right to keep and bear arms, i fully agree in the concept of it. host: do you think citizens carrying arms in public, in places like real re -- what the railway and substations, that that would be the solution? caller: i think it would discourage some of the would-be terrorists because the terrorists take full advantage of the fact that citizens are discouraged from carrying personal weaponry. it does not have to be a gun. it could be a taser or something like that. and i think if american citizens were encouraged by law enforcement authorities to carry
their own personal weaponry, i think the terrorists would have a lot tougher job of effectively -- host: from juneau, alaska, joe miller says he will not stand in the way of republican rival lisa murkowski being certified the winner of alaska's's u.s. senate race, but it will continue his court challenge to the state's handling of the vote count. the decision allows -- the state supreme court decision not to overturn a result of the election showing u.s. senator lisa murkowski leading miller by thousands of votes. late sunday miller said the integrity of the election process is vital, but he also does not want to prevent the state from having full representation when the new
congress is sworn in next month. hun's bill, alabama. billy, you are on "washington journal." can mass-transit be protected? >> park -- caller: probably not in the long run. yet trains going thousands of miles. or like the old west -- it blow up the track. we have tva dams out here, you could of the big boat down the tennessee river and below what the dams. -- blow up the dams. long term, probably not host: thank you for your call. in this morning's "wall street journal" in the money and investment section, bail out banks slip toward failure. a number of shaky lenders rise to 98 as that loans piled up, smaller institutions hit hardest.
our last call comes from washington, d.c., on our line for democrats. can mass-transit be protected? caller: two things to say. it can be protected but these republicans want to carry guns on mass-transit with all of these people shooting each other. they are going to hurt each other carrying weapons. americans need to stop trying to
police the world and that the u.n. do it, that is what they made it 4. i do not understand why we have to go police the world and try to put our ideas on other people. thank you. host: thank you very much for your call. we are going to take a break, but we want to let you know that coming up in 45 minutes, it discussion on immigration policy, and that is going to be with one of our guests, darrell west of the brookings institution, the author of "brain gain." coming up in 45 minutes. a discussion on the threat of homegrown terraces -- terrorism with steven emerson, he will be here in just a few minutes. you are watching "washington journal." today is monday, december 27. we will be right back. [captioning performed by national captioning institute]
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grown terrorism. welcome to the program. first, for the sake of this discussion, define for us "homegrown terrorism." guest: homegrown terrorism is traditionally applied to indigenous acts of terrorism carried out in the united states by americans, either right-wing or left-wing. but in the last decade, particularly since 9/11, the definition has been reapplied to radical islamic extremists who become radicalized jeter through -- radicalized either through a group like al qaeda or they become radicalized by someone in their community. so the definition has shifted, and it is a way of avoiding for some people what they consider a politically charged term, mentioning the use of "radical islam." because homegrown terrorism does not tell you what is the behavior, what is the
informational incentive behind the action of those perpetrating terrorist acts. you need a descriptor such as christian militia, right-wing militia, left wing militia. this would be islamic extremist terrorists. host: so what accounts for the jump in home grown terrorism, in your estimation? guest: we have seen the jump from 9/11 until 2010, especially in the last two years, of almost 50% in the number of attempted or successful attacks, a successful one being the one portrayed by the dow out hassan that killed 50 people. hits of 1000 cut, that is they are going to hit us over and over again with smaller types of attacks. number 2, we have seen a lot more people who have been radicalized either through watching youtube videos yemeni
cleric, al qaeda leader, or because of those in their community that had induced him to become more radical. host: we are talking with steven emerson, the executive director of the investigative project on terrorism. if you want to get involved in the conversation, regarding the threat of home grown terrorism, the number is 202-737-0001 for 202-737-0002 forrd 202-628-02 democrats, and four independent s, 202-628-0205. our first call. seek out this guy is about as much an expert on terrorism as i am a nuclear physicist. i am surprised that c-span is
not aware of the fact that this guy is under irs investigation of his organization, for some rather bad accounting activities. everybody knows that this guy is nothing more than a shell for -- host: we are going to leave it there. guest: this guy has a dividend and origination -- a vivid imagination. number 1, in 1985, to go back to the oklahoma city bombing, what i report it was very simple. that law enforcement responded to radical extremists to be responsive in 24 hours. that was confirmed by the fbi, the department of justice, by law enforcement. when we found out it was white extremists, i switched my comment. there's no way that i was deliberately blaming islamic extremists. if you say that, you have to blame npr, abc, nbc, and the
major networks. number 2, declared that i am under irs investigation is a figment of your fantasy. we have a special arrangement set up for which the irs has approved -- in which we can protect the identities and lives of our employees and our office and are subcontracted because many of them have been under threat, including myself. so we have set up a separate management company that disperses the funds without disclosing the identities of those appointees who would be subject to death threats, as i have been for the last 11 years. host: our next call comes from baltimore, maryland, on our line for democrats. i'm sort of independencts. caller: what the government is doing as they have always done is targeting the poorest communities, following -- by the people who are susceptible to -- they are giving
these people the weapons, giving these people these suggestions, planting evidence. most of these home grown terrorist threats that have been reported over the past two years are completely fabricated by the government. i do not know what this dude is talking about. again, the previous caller took my thunder. this man is a complete show, a front, and these people are making billion -- making millions of dollars, not this organization per cent, but this whole global terrorist industry are profiting from -- they're mostly a xenophobic, a bunch of racists, and completely bogus. host: we will leave it there, norman. guest: let me say desperate there have been attacks on the fbi, including by yourself and mainstream islamist groups, who
claim the fbi has been instigating and fomenting terrorist attacks by islamic extremists by use of informants. the use of informants by the fbi has been used time immemorial since the fbi was treated against mexican drug cartels, against the mafia, against youth gangs, asian gangs. it has been used because it is a critical way of intercepting and interdicting violence or acts of violence per the fact of the matter is, had the fbi not utilized informant's over the last few years in stopping the fort dix plot, which would have killed hundreds of u.s. soldiers, or the plot to bomb synagogues in california and new york, or the plot to bomb the dc metro, we would have seen thousands of people lose their lives. i would disagree with you and say the fbi is critical. they are not commenting at tax, but offering themselves to be participants only if -- they are not fomenting a tax, but
offering themselves to the participants only if -- it's intelligence collection. if the islamic community would be more forthcoming in terms of providing information to the fbi, it would not be the need for fbi informants. host: michael had been wrote this piece, fox news.com. he says, "if u.s. officials and the media can be believed, america faces an epidemic of home grown terrorism. yet from the u.s. army shooter assigned to faisal shahzad to the so-called christmas tree bomber, mohammad mohammad, all of these mass murderers believed they were working on behalf of the ford organization. guest: is an interesting thesis because home grown terrorism sort of a plot -- implies that is and ideologies from the united states.
-- if it is an radiology -- it isn't ideology from the u.s.. -- it is an ideology from the u.s. what he is saying is that the ideologies of radical islamic extremism, which is basically what is propelling homegrown terrorism is an alien ideology from the united states, that it comes from the muslim brotherhood, al qaeda, and other islamic suny extremist groups. -- other islamic sunni extremist groups. i think radical islamic extremists is more appropriate. host: so you think because the marching orders per se are coming from these gentlemen, these men that we talked about, are coming from foreign shores as opposed to someone like a timothy mcveigh, who pretty
much dreamt this up here in the united states, was boarded united states, that kind of thing, that it is that sort of thing that separates the two of them? guest: i do not think you can lump them together. before i came on, i was looking at a chart from the national terrorism center for statistics for the year 2009. they noted terrorist categories bite perpetrator and found there was nearly 15,000 dead, but -- they noted terrorist categories by perpetrator, and found there was nearly 15,000 dead, perpetrated by islamic extremists come up another 1000 by christian extremists. if you did not have the term christian, islamic, anarchist, or secular, behind the word extremist, you would not know who is carrying it out. so i think it is vital that we
are able to identify who our enemy is by the behavior they engage in, and that behavior is informed by their beliefs, whether religious or secular or anarchist. host: we are talking about the threat of home grown terrorism with steven emerson, executive director of the investigative projects on terrorism. our next call comes from eagle river, wisconsin, ron, on our line for democrats. caller: i am going to start this year out and say that i am tired of fear, fear, fear. i'm tired of listening to people dividing our country. we are the home of the free, land of the brave, sir, and i am more afraid of driving down the road and hitting a deer on the way to the store than and up -- then i am of some muslim coming over here and blowing the up. and i'm tired of people like this dividing our country.
i'm tired of the -- i am more afraid of the far right wing terrorism that is going on in this country against the people here, and people like this gentleman. where do you get your authority to come up here and talk about instilling fear in the people in this country? what are you? who are you, sir? guest: i am the head of an organization that has been tracking radical islamic extremism since 1995. i produced a film called "jihad in america" in 1994 and have co- written six books on national security. i call myself an investigator because i do not think anyone can predict the future. it is interesting that you think i am selling fear, even though 80% of the convictions have been muslim extremists. you claim that you are much more
afraid of the far right, so you may be sowing more fear by exaggerating the threat of the far right. even though there is a legitimate threat from them, a more major threat comes from islamic extremists against american citizens. host: chris, on our line for republicans, you're on with steven emerson. caller: according to cornell law university committeeperson commits a threat of terrorism, they can automatically be picked up -- according to cornell law university, if a person commits a threat of terrorism, they can automatically be picked up. why did not portland, even in their own law, state and that a person commits or even threatens to commit, has not done barbel the harm, why did they not taken up instead of creating a fake
bomb threat? guest: saying i want to bomb targets in the u.s. is not in violation of law, it is protected by free speech. but when you say in specifically that you want to carry out bombing attacks against the dc metro system, that is when you cross the line. in cases involving the mafia or other gangs, the fbi wants to ensure the public is protected. in doing so, they want to be sure that the person carrying out these threats, threatening to carry out these threats, is put away for the maximum time possible. in this case, if someone is saying i want to blow up the metro system, blow up a building in chicago, blow up synagogues or national park facilities, the is fulfilling the terrorist
threat wishes. host: cincinnati, ohio, ronald on our line for independents. guest: we have -- caller: we have corruption in this country, and they're taking our jobs. what do they have to blow up us for? our government is putting us under the bus. now we are on the cliff. we are going to be gone in another 10 or 20 years. host: we will leave it there. steven emerson? guest: i'm not so sure i follow the question, but i would say that the threat of radical islam is very real. two -- unless we identified it
as islamic terrorism, we can never expect to defeat it. number three, we need the communal support within the islamic community to say we support the use of fbi informants, we support you, members of the community, going to the fbi. instead, my organization has tracked that means leaving -- that mainstream leaders claim that the fbi is behind the attacks and have ordered their followers not to cooperate with the fbi. they should tell their supporters cooperate with the fbi, if you see something tell the fbi. to build up this negative case against the fbi by denigrating them as evil is the worst possible scenario, and we will see more terrorist acts because people will not be forthcoming from the islamic community. host: how is the contact me between radical groups and u.s. citizens?
once they are inside the group, how does the government go about tracking these folks? guest: first of all, about half of the attacks are directed or inspired or in some way influenced by a foreign participant leader that will bless the killings of americans in emails to nidal hassan, who shot 14 and killed all of them. half of them are foreign-based terrorists. the other half, the radicalization is induced here. if there is direction from overseas terrorists, it's easier for the fbi to get involved because the same lost -- the same laws do not apply overseas. what they hear in the mosque, what they read on the internet,
and what they hear from their comrades -- is more difficult for the fbi to find out about that from overseas, unless they use methods of intrusion that are legally and added, which are search warrants, the ability to produce wire taps. no such search can be done without a criminal predicate. host: in "washington times," robert louis and james weeder broke this op-ed, "osama bin laden is dead." they said last week al qaeda issued its annual christmas threat to the united states, promising suicide bombings during the holiday spirit here is a better idea for a christmas present from al qaeda, a video showing is lawman -- osama bin laden or his grave. is he dead or alive? nobody seems to know for sure,
or if he does, he's not saying. he was not even mentioned despite an ongoing decade-long manhunt. is it that we have just gotten a little bit tired of trying to track down been lawton -- bin laden? or is there the possibility that he might be dead? guest: i do not think it butit is an enigma, one that is persistent and disturbing because we should know for sure whether he is dead or alive based on our intercept and intelligence, but we do not. i had an official from tell the person -- i had an official from mi5 tell me that he is dead. that was just last year. since then we have seen a videotape in which he describes
current events. he may be being cool in a cave, and no one has risen above the level of radar for him to pick up. host: how much has his been unable to escape capture, a recruiting tool or lined, what ever, for extremists trying to recruit americans to join their cause? guest: he is almost irrelevant. the most relevant figure today in recruiting americans to carry out terrorist attacks is anwar alaki, educated in the united states, but born in yemen, was friendly with two of the 9/11 hijackers left in 2002. before then he was a radical preacher, and through his internet via it -- videos which are on thousands of website, he has been able to indoctrinate --
they have to avenge it by carrying out attacks against the dreaded state. it is the exposure to western speaking audiences that has opened up a whole new market of jihadists in the world today, in europe and the united states, but that did not exist prior to the emergence of him. host: next up is gary in new york, new york, on our line for rabach wiggins. you are on with stephen anderson -- on our line for republicans. your are lined with steven emerson. caller: is it possible that the muslim people who are "radicalized are feeling radicalize because of people who are claiming that -- because people like you, mr. anderson,
keep trying to create a war on islam instead of actually handling the problem, which it is, which is that these people are turning them into second- class citizens, that you have made their religion in effect the legal or un-american, that you are bombing their homes without any real a credibility? the be if we look at the bigger picture instead of saying, -- the be if we look at the bigger picture instead of saying, as you pointed out earlier when we are talking about the ku klux klan, that we might actually solve the problem instead of creating more and more homegrown terrorists. host: we will leave it there, gary. guest: i would suggest to you that i am not the inventor of
the war against islam. that was invented decades ago by the muslim brotherhood, which alleged out of egypt and then spread to scores of countries around the world that there was a war against islam perpetrated by the west. it is a paranoid conspiracy designed to radicalize muslims. i am not talking about all muslims. i have always referred to radical muslim extremists. it means the radical ones. those that are radical will not be radicalized by what i say. they are being radicalized by what militants say, which is you are under attack by the west, under threat by the united states, like kristiansand jews -- by christians and jews, and therefore you have to avenge it. that is the problem. it is not the fact that i am
tracking those that are willing to carry out acts of terrorism. in the same way the kkk, even though the reality comes from a strain of american history, not a very proud one, the reality is the kkk and other extremists in the united states did not perpetrate their crimes because they felt they were second-class citizens. they perpetrated their crimes because they felt they were first class citizens and wanted to oppose and radiology -- and ideology. host: steven emerson is our guest for the next 18 minutes, the it director for the investigative projects on terrorism and the co-author on some of the following books -- "jihadi inc.," "american jihad ," and "terrorists: the inside story of --"
fairfax, virginia george, on our line for democrats. caller: my first question is about this assange business. people have been saying that he should be illegally murdered. if it is terrorism, rupert murdoch should be charged with terrorism. -- should be charged with murder. c-span is part of the problem because if i was running c-span, i would not invite you on this show. i have to make a quick comment. in england about four or five years ago, a person was shot and killed in central england. within seven days, they found an african in a remote part of africa, and i cannot understand why we are paying all this money
for defense and intelligence if they cannot find osama bin laden. the last comment i have, goldman sachs scares' be more than anything you could broadcast. guest: let me address the points i can address. i do not support the murder of the wikileaks disclosure of hundreds of thousands of cables, and i do not know who said let's murder him, but if anybody said that, that is unacceptable. i do not know whether it is a violation of the law, but it might push right up to the envelope. i do not have any recall or confirmation that anyone said that. number two, i think that we have to understand that you are right that we have spent billions of dollars to create a situation, a structural situation in which we can connect the dots -- that is, we have institutions that collect intelligence, the purpose of which is for all of them to connect the dots to identify who
could be perpetrators. the problem is sometimes these institutions are so big, the information they collect at the bottom level does not filter to the top level to make the connections. we have the dni not even knowing the arrests of 12 extremists by british authorities a few days ago. one of the assistance should certainly be filtered. we are dealing with a problem that is unique in the world, this worldwide global tool of potential jihadists that come from europe, the middle east, southeast asia, and the heartland of the united states. host: we have an e-mail from someone who did not want to identify themselves that says, "i have two questions for mr. anderson. it was the father of a young man that was -- for mr. anderemerso.
representative peter king wants to hold hearings on the radicalization of muslims. there are concerns that this would alienate the committee and day perhaps will be less likely to offer tips to authorities. does mr. emerson a great?" guest: it is a unique opportunity for them to fully, openly, and unambiguously condemn all types of terrorism. to participate, cooperate with the fbi. and an opportunity for them to rescind their attacks on the fbi as instigating all these terrorist attacks. if they want to show they are truly moderate, is an opportunity to make these assertions. unfortunately, they do not want to do that. they want to attack the hearings as islamophobic.
they are alienated by the message put out by these groups in 2001 that there is a war against islam. that is a conspiratorial message that is the number-one factor in radicalizing muslims. host: also the folks that said does this e-mail road, "please compare the rise of domestic home grown terrorism with countries in europe also experiencing domestic terrorism. is it on par, or, or less, etc. ?" guest: i think 2010 and 2011 will be the year of jihadists m in europe. we have seen 10 sets of arrests of extremists from paris, germany, france, the netherlands, because they have been able to maneuver about freely because there are really
no passport controls. we have seen 20 jihadists infiltrate from lebanon into europe. in the at is experiencing a threat from terrorists who have infiltrated mum by to carry out a new attack. i think europe is the year of the jihadist scenario in terms of it being more disproportionately targeted-the united states. host: there were 12 men arrested in london last week, and they were charged with conspiracy, terror conspiracy. they were arrested during extreme concern over a recent number of terror-related plot. i director said he was not aware of the arrests. an explanation was offered by mr. brennan of the white house.
we'll show you that response, and then we want to get your response to what he had to say. than bad jim clapper is the consummate -- >> jim clapper is the consummate dni. he was focused on support as far as the start treaty is concerned. he was engaged in a variety of classified matters. should he have been briefed by his staff on those arrests? yes. guest: the question is who's to blame -- his staff, or is he to blame? i'm sympathetic of the notion that someone is the -- as someone who is the head of a major bureaucracy and has thousands of bytes of intelligence said to him everyday cannot possibly retain everything. being the head of dni, he cannot be responsible for having all that interested in his head.
if anyone is to be penalized of its should be one of his top assistants. host: william, you're on "washington journal." caller: to what degree -- the growth of terrorism in this country? guest: could you repeat the question? caller: to what degree will our department in the united states have on home grown terrorism? host: i think what william in virginia wants to know is if there is a connection between the growth of unemployment in the united states and the threat of home grown terrorism? guest: is a good question. some people allege that somehow
the economy is responsible, but i do not believe that. i think it is due to the growth of the internet, the growing message of mainstream islamic leaders not to cooperate with the fbi and claimed the fbi is evil, therefore prohibiting or does incentivizing muslims from coming forward. in the pervasiveness of -- and the pervasiveness of radical literature telling muslims that the fbi is responsible for a war on radical islam. caller: what is the pakistani government's involvement in getting osama bin laden? it seems to me they hold the key and they have a lot of intelligence and information on where he is at and how to get at him.
what is the pakistani involved in getting osama bin laden? guest: that question was referred to in numerous cables disclosed under wikileaks in which there was traffic going back from the embassy in pakistan to the united states, complaining about the fact that isi, the pakistani intelligence services, or on both sides assisting the united states and the taliban. parts of isi they have known where osama bin laden was and were protecting him -- may have known where osama bin laden was and were protecting him years ago. they are on both sides of the fed said that simply cannot be for a true ally. host: next is smyrna, tennessee, on our line for democrats.
arnold, go ahead. guest: how are you? yes, sir, i was wondering if you have ever heard of a web site called patriotsquestion9/11.com. the web site contains more than 3000 into a highly educated and very intelligent professionals, including half of the 9/11 commission. what this website is about, it is simply asking for a second investigation into 9/11. there are hundreds of college professors who have put their name on this website. hundreds of politicians, including several senators. i think three or four of them are currently sitting senators, and the rest are former. dennis kucinich has put his name on here. ron paul has put his name on this website and walter mondale
has put his name on this website. this website is not a bunch of guys, you know, folks running around wearing tinfoil hats, saying that 9/11 needs to be reinvestigated. one other website i would like to make you aware of is a website that i have where you can read and download a book that i code-wrote that is entitled "divine 9/11 intervention." is a true story, which is hard for a lot of people to accept. guest: let me respond to you because we are running out of time. i do not believe there was an alternative conspiracy to carry out the 9/11 attacks. i believe the conclusion of the 9/11 commission and the u.s. intelligence authorities repeatedly affirmed the fact that there were 19 hijackers, 18
of the word from saudi arabia, one from egypt, who carry out the attacks with instructions given by osama bin laden. number 2, all the buildings that collapsed were destroyed by jet fuel and the crash and implosion of the attacks by the planes on that day. i do not believe there was a conspiracy. there is a whole new movement to question it because i think there is a conspiracy group in the united states that does not accept anything the government says. but i think it is 100% pure truth that this was carried out by islamic extremists and not by others. both buildings -- all the buildings were collapsed by the inferno, and there is no alternative to explain this other than people who want to deny the truth of all this power that is very sad. host: next up, indianapolis on our line for independents.
what are your thoughts regarding home grown terrorism, and your questions for steven emerson? caller: i like the last caller's statement because it sheds light on the what the majority of the american people think. i was born christian here in america. i love christianity. since this whole thing started on this economic thing -- on this is noislamic thing, i fount that "islam" means peace. you look at all these other religious communities, the jewish community, they practice peace, and the christian community practices piece. these are people of god, so i do not see how we can put a label on those people who really believe like christians and the jewish believe, and then some type of criminals. what would they have to gain
when our g.o. de -- our god is the greatest to protect against evil? host: we will leave it there. guest: i have said this repeatedly, hundreds of times. when i refer to radical islam, i am not referring to the entire religion of islam. nor am referring to the 1.4 billion muslims in the world. i am referring to those who interpret islam in their way, which they believe is pure interpretation that they think is correct that allows them to carry out attacks against the west or against their enemies. remember that most of the victims against -- of islamic extremists are fellow muslims. it is not that we are denigrating entire religion because as i pointed out before, there are christian extremists, a jewish extremists. but in the world today of international terrorist attacks, something like 70% or so of those carried out by the
religious groups, or 80%, are carried out by islamic extremists. we need muslim leaders to stand up against them and acknowledge that there is a problem and they can stop it by saying there is no war against islam, that you should cooperate with authorities, and there is no reason to carry out violence against those who you think are illegitimate. that is not being said by mainstream islamic leaders, or the communal leaders in the united states who are derived from muslim brotherhood legacy groups host: in "the washington times," john brennan, the man that we saw in the clip earlier, the white house's top adviser on counterterrorism and homeland security said last wednesday that the u.s. has increased its
security efforts in part by improving its so-called no-fly list and other terrorist watch list. your thoughts on that effort? guest: the no-flight list is based on the notion that if intelligence is gored by an agency overseas or by the fbi in the u.s. -- is garnered by an agency overseas are by the fbi and u.s., that it has a tendency to commit violence, they will deny that person the ability to fly from point a to point b. they will drive their, but they do not want to enhance the ability to carry out attacks. you cannot insulate the railways the way you can insulate airports. it is a much more compartmentalized system.
host: our last call for steven emerson comes from detroit, chris, on our line for independents caller: is unfortunate that someone who is in a position to investigate acts of terrorism is so biased. when you make an association between islam and terrorism and all these disrespectful associations with their religion, i see an agenda there. it is reprehensible. especially when you know that in this country there are several acts of terrorism, if that is what you want to call them, that are carried out by people from this nation, all over different parts of the world. in all those instances, we never heard this association with anyone's religion. i think that is clear evidence that your agenda, mr. emerson,
is to discredit primarily because your political interests lie in the middle east. guest: obviously you are not going to be a supporter of hours, but the bottom line is that we have called the islamic jihad -- they call themselves the islamic jihad, not me. all the other groups use jihad to describe themselves, not me. the fact of the matter is it is the islamic groups of the radical groups that define themselves by their islamic theology, not me. so when i use the term islamic militant, it is because those militants are acting out of their beliefs, their islamic beliefs, no matter how radical or unacceptable they are. that is what informs their behavior. when i talk about white racists, it is because of the exclusive racism of whites,
certain white, that induce them to carry out acts of violence in the united states, or that they have in the past. it is not meet instigating racism, it is the islamic groups that refuse to tell the difference admit there is a difference between radical islam and islam. in order for them to say that anyone who criticizes islam is a bigot. in fact, i criticize radical islam, and i challenge the groups to make that distinction. so that they can do something about it unless they really do not want to. host: our guest has been steven emerson. thank you for being on the program. in about 45 minutes, we will talk about food safety legislation. coming up after the break, a discussion with darrell west, the author of "brain gain: rethinking u.s. immigration policy." that discussion coming up in a few minutes. today is monday, december 27.
you are watching the "washington journal." >> today we are adopting a set of high-level rules of the road that strikes the right balance between these imperatives. >> last week, the federal communications commission adopted the first-ever regulations for broadband internet service. tonight on "the communicator's come out how the new rules may affect how content travels over the internet, with gigi sohn
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hearings and policy forums. you can see our signature interview programs. on saturday, it is "the communicator's." you can also watch our programming anytime at c- span.org, and it is all search able on our c-span video library. a public service greeted by our pub -- by american's cable companies. "washington journal continues. host: darrell west is the author of "brain gained: rethinking u.s. immigration policy." welcome to the program. in your estimation, what are the problems with the current immigration policy? guest: the big problem is immigration has become a radioactive issue for politicians. nobody wants to touch it because it is so controversial across virtually the entire
country. the big problem is people see the cost of immigration as very high and the benefits as very low, so in that situation they wanted a very tough on immigrants. i take the opposite stance. i argue that the costs are lower than people perceive and the benefits are higher. host: in your book, you give us some numbers that we would like to show our viewers. 23 million are permanent legal route -- permanent legal residents. 1 million on temporary work or terrorism vises. 11.9 million are here illegally. were that to change, how might these numbers change? guest: the big controversy is really over the illegal end. people understand legal immigrants have made contributions. i put the picture of albert einstein, just remind america of our most famous democrat. but the people who come here
illegally are the ones that are really the source of the problem. there are a lot of myths that people think of illegal immigrants. they think they just come here, they take jobs, they soak up government benefits, and they do not provide contributions. but about 2/3 of illegal immigrants have jobs, often doing jobs americans do not want. they pay taxes. they contribute to our economy and our society in a variety of different ways. host: wide is public opinion get so skewed when talking about immigrants and immigration policy? and if the numbers you say are correct, why is there this disconnect between the facts and public opinion? guest: the reason why people are so upset about it is the large number of illegal people who come here. that alienates a lot of americans, creates lots of problems. the difficulty is this is an area about which almost
everybody is dissatisfied in some respects, but it has been very difficult for politicians to deal with. it is one of those unusual areas. when people are upset about something, people do with the problem. in the immigration area, there are so many different areas on so many different fronts, we are paralyzed and not able to take actions that address the concerns of so many americans. host: darrell west, in your book, you write, "my central argument is that u.s. immigration policy would seriously off course at the congress passed legislation in 1965 making family unification the overarching principle in immigration policy. by focusing so much people possibility to bring aunts, uncles, and cousins, the country has lost opportunity to find the next albert einstein, sir debris in, bartend gregorian, or andrew grove.
guest: once you're here and become a legal resident, you can bring your spouse, your children, parents here. the problem is that we only devote about 15% of our visas for employment-related purposes. canada, for example, it is the exact opposite. they devote more than 60% of visas for employment related purposes. it is no coincidence that in canada, immigration is a lot less controversial because there is a strong rationale. canada uses the information to fill in gaps in its economy. people working in the hotel and restaurant industries. the united states, we are not very strategic about using immigration to solve problems and fill gaps in our economy. so as a result, people do not
really understand the rationale behind our immigration policy, and that policy does not have a lot of popular support. host: to get involved in the conversation with darrell west, we have rearranged the phone lines. if you support changing immigration policy, the number is 202-737-0001. that is if you support changing immigration policy. if you oppose changing immigration policy, give us a call at 202-737-0002. that is if you oppose changing immigration policy. if you are an immigrant, the number is 202-628-0205. if you are calling from outside the u.s., 202-628-0214. our first call for darrell west
comes on a republican line from stephen addison, wisconsin. go ahead, steve. caller: i am against further illegal immigration. i think it should have stopped easily with the numbers of -- i think it is 1 billion social security numbers that can be found each time an individual is illegally brought to the attention of -- excuse me -- the irs. it would have been easy for ice to find it. i called ice and asked if it was , togal for me to polull
challenge someone on the streets if they were an illegal immigrant, asked them if i had the right to do that. i was hung up on by the manager of ice. guest: i think everyone is concerned about illegal immigrants to the question is how you deal with this problem. a lot of people did understand is there are two different types of immigrants. the one to attract attention are the ones who is legally come across the border, mainly from mexico. over the last decade we have spent an enormous amount of money to try to boost border security, build a fence, had additional border patrol agents to deal with the problem. but almost half the people here illegally came to the united states legally for a student -- half of the people came to the united states legally for is
due -- for a student visa. the way to address the second problem, i believe, is through tougher workplace enforcement. that you basically need to hold businesses affordable for who they hire because that is going to be the only way you can deal with that second type of illegality. the people who actually come here legally but then overstay their visas. host: one person thought that -- you write that most immigrants, legal or illegal, are not allowed to participate in medicaid, supplemental security income, food stamps, temporary assistance for needy families, or the state children's health insurance program. illegal immigrants are not able to receive any forms of welfare, public health care except for emergency services, or retirement benefits.
legal permanent residents must contribute to medicare and social security for at least 10 years before they can benefit from these government programs." guest: that is one of the big myths people have about illegal immigrants, that they become eligible for all these government benefits so therefore they cost us a lot and bring the benefits. but as you pointed out from my book, i suggest that is really not the case in general. most illegal immigrants are not eligible for government benefits, not eligible for welfare, not eligible for income supplements. there are two exceptions to that, and these exceptions are controversial as well. that illegal immigrants are eligible to go to school, and so they do contribute to the cost of public education. then they do get health care benefits when they go to hospitals and need health care. but other than those two areas,
most other areas they are not eligible for host: our next call comes from dawn. you support changing immigration policy? caller: i do. yes, i do. i think not passing the dream act was terrible. i wanted to ask your guest -- maybe we should change the way we are going about trying to solve a problem. as he had mentioned, it is so complicated. i would propose a more multi disciplined effort, where you bring to bear many different sociological, physical, a lot of different ways at solving it. an example would be a gentle man yesterday called in to the program on the "washington journal," and suggested desalination plant, and build a
pipeline along the mexican border. that is what i talk about -- taking a problem that will occur that will help secure the border, build a pipeline, a shared effort between the united states and mexico where we are providing jobs on both sides of the border. it comes at a problem in several different directions, and all at the same time. host: we will leave it there. darrell west, go ahead. guest: i think the caller makes an important point in the sense that we do need to address a lot of different aspects to it because it is a big, complicated problem with lots of different things. people who think we can just get tough on border security and that will solve the problem -- that is really not likely to be very satisfying to people. as the caller pointed out, one of the reason so many mexicans are coming to the united states and often coming here illegally
is the poor jobs situation in their own country. one thing we need to pay attention to is what is going on within mexico in terms of the economy, in terms of the drug issues, the violence and crime that is taking place there. we need to be working with the back seat -- with the mexican government to solve those problems. if we can help mexico make progress on its own economy and society, those mexicans will have far fewer incentives to come to the u.s., and that will help in the long run with this question of illegal immigration. host: on our line for those opposing changing immigration policy, you are on, paula seek out i think one of the reasons a lot of people oppose the changes to -- caller: one of the reasons a lot of people oppose the changes to
it illegal immigration is people are coming into this country and breaking our laws. children will have to compete with these people, and they are also -- i was in our local terminal one day, and there were some mexicans and their with food stamp type of coupons come and they could not even speak english. that is a real problem when you have united states citizens who are struggling and they feel that these people are taking advantage of what we have to offer. also, i believe these people should stay in their own countries to make their country's better. coming here is the easiest way. host: darrell west, author of "brain gaming." guest: that is a good explanation of why this is
causing so much discontent around the country. people need to focus on how we can go about dealing with that problem. we certainly need to put substantial effort into border security, which we are doing. we also need to focus on workplace enforcement because that is the way to deal with the half of the illegal immigrants who come here legally and overstay their visas and basically remain in the country through that means. i think what a lot of people do not understand is the other thing that both the bush administration as well as the obama administration had been trying to do is deport a lot of people. they are now matching fingerprints in prisons, checking the immigration status of people who have been convicted of crimes. the obama administration over the past year has deported over 400,000 people. the bush administration deported nearly the same amount
each year. so there is a lot of focus on people coming across the border illegally. the government is working hard to deal with that problem and is deporting those that they find who are here illegally, including those who have committed crimes. host: howard in queens, new york, on our line for -- guest: we have to look at immigrants for who they are, and that is exceptional people. if you think about it, an immigrant is someone who left the only land they know, traveled across britain, overseas, and started a new land. that is not an easy thing to do. two or three generations ago it was italians and germans. they could not speak english either, but they had that drive and then that they wanted their children to make better, and that mentality that i will work
hard and contribute to my society. now there are very few immigrants to break laws. the majority are people who work hard and get better and better lives for the children. we need to know that we cannot go around calling people "illegal immigrants" because people are not illegal, actions are illegal. host: howard, before we let you go, where are you from? .aller: originally from africa host: are you a naturalized citizen? caller: i am a naturalized citizen. the country has been very good to be. it's the greatest country in the road. heredren can come over and contributing great ways. guest: i agree with the point made by this caller. one of the great virtues of many immigrants who have come to the united states is their entrepreneurial spirit. they do come, they work, they
help create value for the united states. one little-known fact i discovered when researching my book is when you look at technology firms, half of them across the country have either an immigrant founder or co- founder. especially those that were founded in silicon valley. the whole technology boom, which has been one of the greatest contributions to american prosperity over the last 20 years, was fueled in large part by immigrants. google was co-founded by some who came here from russia. d-day was starting by somebody -- was started by somebody from france -- ebay was started by somebody from france. yahoo! was started by someone from taiwan. think about what the economy would look like if google were in russia, the day was in -- the
day was in paris. keep in mind the fact these people are very entrepreneurial, motivated. they come from places with in -- they come from places that did not have opportunity. they come here, they build well for themselves and the country. host: bruce supports changing immigration policy and calls us this morning from oberlin park, kansas. caller: the one aspect of immigration that has been an irritation to me has been the allowing of children born in this country to automatically become citizens. i think at least one of the parents should be a certified nationalize citizen before that child can become -- can be granted a citizenship. thank you, and i will hang up and listen to your reply. guest: that amendment is controversial and has attracted
a lot of attention over the last year, and certainly played a role in some places in the recent election. when you think about the history, that amendment was added to the constitution in the aftermath of the civil war to allow the children of slaves who were born in the united states to have automatic citizenship. there are some candidates and current members of congress who are pushing the idea that we should change that amendment and basically get rid of that provision. i do not think there is going to be widespread public support for that. that would be very controversial, require a huge majority both in congress as well as across the country. some people are pushing that, but i do not see the new republican majority of the house of representatives pushing that particular idea just because it would be very divisive and very controversial. host: in "the baltimore sun," republican lawmakers expected
to favor more deportations over limited legalization. brian bennett writes that republican lamar smith, who will have oversight for deportation arrest when he takes over the gavel of the house judiciary committee, was an ardent supporter of the 96 legislation. called the illegal immigration reform and immigration responsibility act 1986, the bill limited the discretion of u.s. immigration judges and increase the time the immigrants could be detained while a reading a hearing. at its first order of business, he plans to hold hearings about worksite enforcement and expanded the employee in identification program, e- verify, expected to expire in 2012." guest: i fully expect the new congress, especially the republican house, to push for
tougher rules. they are going to push e-verify, a program that requires employers to check the employment status are not just looking to paper workers but by going through a computerized database put together by the federal government. you have to document that you are legal in order to get a job. i think that will help with the half of immigrants who came here legally but overstayed their visas. they will continue the effort of putting an additional billions of dollars into border enforcement. they will crack down on a variety of different aspects. at some point, we can keep pouring money into enforcement. that will not solve the problem. it does not deal with the 11 million people who already are here illegally. they are continuing to come. we can deport 400,000 people a year, but we still have to figure out a way to deal with
the people already here. host: our next call from darrell west comes from edith in south africa. welcome to the program. caller: good morning to you. me being in south africa, the ivory coast, of course, i notice a lot of different changes in this country, specifically for the caucasian community. it is so easy for the young man from africa, like he just said, that this country has been good to him. of course he will say that because he got on his feet, got the economic benefits, but the caucasians in this country have been treated like third world citizens. it's terrible the way they treat them. in africa, i am talking about the black, ivory coast africans. throughout africa, they get treated like trash. those types of things are not being mentioned, how some of the
caucasians in africa are being treated in that country. of course the man from africa that just off the phone is going to say this country has been good because he is reaping all the benefits. as far as the latino community, all of them will say good things because they are reaping all the benefits that americans, we fought so hard to get. i love this country, america -- i left this country, america, for south africa. it is just not -- it is not the same when americans go to different countries. host: we will leave it there. guest: the caller certainly highlights the fact that immigration is controversial virtually everywhere around the world. it is really no accident that that has become the case because in an era of globalization and mass migration and civil wars and drought and economic
problems, we are getting people moving everywhere. europe, many european nations now see great controversies coming from immigration. in germany, for example, their issues in terms of the turkish immigrants, some of whom have lived in germany for two to three generations now. edith was talking about the issue of caucasians in african countries. really kind of shows the aftermath of globalization, that when you basically are moving populations around, every country is experiencing lots of newcomers, and everywhere that is a big controversy in that home nation. host: next up is omar in alexandria, virginia. omar is also an immigrant. caller: i want to ask mr. west what he thinks will happen in the next two years with the obama administration regarding
comprehensive immigration over fall -- overhaul. host: where are you from? caller: pakistan. host: how long have you been in the united states? caller: about two years now. host: are you a naturalized citizen? caller: yes. guest: there are many different aspects of the status quo that aggravate people and create a lot of discontent, and so people who have been pushing for immigration reform have suggested we need a comprehensive measure of the kind impose them all of these things together. tougher border enforcement, workplace enforcement, easing a complication and of course is that we are born to have a
democratic senate, a democratic president and a republican house. the odds in the senate have gone down dramatically when you look at the new political brevities based on the 2010 election. what people think is going to happen is that legislators may start to break up the immigration reform into component parts and start to pass a few of the provisions that are little more popular. certainly, porter security is popular. and i could see congress -- border security is popular. and i could see, was taking action there. if the dream act, which the lame-duck congress attempted to pass, it actually got majorities in both the house and senate, but because it needs 60 votes in the senate to break off the republican filibuster, it was not approved. but you could see that coming back an amended form and having
some hopes of passage. the other part would be some action on both high skilled and low-skilled workers. there are certain industries that if they are hard hit by the current immigration rules, technology firms, for example. they have had hard times bring in a computer scientist into the country and their argument is that they need more of be says at the hy scaled and. -- more visas at the hy scaled end. and at the low scale and, if there are those who argue that even though the u.s. has nearly set -- nearly 10% unemployment, they have a hard time filling those. there could be some legislation to address the parts of the problem that have broad support among the general public. host: susan lambeau wrote for
the associated press yesterday. we talked earlier about the republicans in the house. she writes that a slimmer majority and an eye on 2012 may prevent some senate democrats from bringing any immigration reform. guest: republicans certainly have adopted a very tough stance on immigration reform. many of them have not supported a pathway to citizenship. but republicans have to be very careful not to overplay the crackdown on immigration just because of the growing political power of hispanic voters. hispanics are becoming a larger part of the overall electorate,
but they are also concentrated in states that will be key battleground states in 2012, both in terms of the congressional elections as well as the presidential election. you're talking about arizona, colorado and nevada. these are all states where the electorate is growing. if republicans talked tough about immigration and talk tough about deporting people and cracking down and getting tough, they will lose support among hispanic reporsupporters and thr ability to win those crucial states is not going to be diminished. host: and darrell west is not with the author of "the brain game" but also the vice president and director of the government studies over at the brookings institution. he is here talking about to us about proposals for attracting more highly educated and entrepreneurial immigrants. our discussion goes on for
about another 10 minutes. cleveland, ohio, paul is also an immigrant. go ahead, paul. caller: hello? host: go ahead, paul. caller: i would like to emphasize something that a lot of people do not know. when you come to this country legally as a tourist between 1986 and 1996, if you have the right to apply as a tourist for security. -- social security. definitely, the person who enters here is going to try to work, and stay here longer than he is supposed to. we have people here for almost two decades and they are illegal. they pay their taxes. they speak of the english, after 20 years. they never received government
help like food stamps or welfare. after two decades, they are still the same. the requirements by the officials as to pay taxes and speak good english and be good citizens. there are people year for 20 years doing all this and still they are called illegal immigrants. host: where are you from, paul? caller: i am from north africa. host: how long have you been here caller: two decades. host: and are you a citizen? caller: yes, sir, i am. guest: it can be the case that even immigrants that are here illegally often do pay taxes. taxesften do paipay income
to their jobs. they paid local property taxes when they either rent or own homes. the idea of getting rid of all of the illegals, people underestimate the economic disruption that would come out of this, the cost of that, but also the benefit that these immigrants bring. these people have jobs and are paying taxes and are contributing to the overall welfare of our country. host: john in arkansas supports changing immigration policy. go ahead and jonathon. -- go ahead, jonathan. caller: hello? host: ago ahead. you are on the "washington journal." caller: what i do not get about this, you know, if i was to break the law, i would be punished. i do not understand how they can come over and be acceptable and all of that.
i have went to work at different places and the illegals are more accepted then the people that are american citizens. host: initially, jonathan's thought it also goes along with this twitter message that we got from linda. your thoughts on that. guest: certainly, people are very concerned about the legal aspect of illegal immigration. but nobody is proposing amnesty. certainly, president obama has not supported that and major policy makers in congress do not support that. what they are suggesting is a
pathway to citizenship. if someone who is here illegally is going to have to meet certain conditions. they will have to pay back taxes if they have not paid them. they have to learn english. they are to pass a criminal background check. basically, they will have to meet these conditions. when you look at public opinion, there is the idea that americans are completely opposed to allowing illegal immigrants to stay here. but if we require that they need each of these conditions, pay back taxes, if learn english, and has a criminal background test, most of the surveys that i have seen in the last few years of show that most americans support a pathway to citizenship under those circumstances. host: you write under "and new narrative" that there is considerable evidence that united states is falling behind on innovation.
how would changing immigration policy rectify that situation? guest: changing immigration policy would help to put america back on a path toward innovation and job creation.com i think, especially at a time when we are facing -- and job creation, i think, especially at a time we are facing foreigners doing jobs that americans do not often want to do. we have students in science and engineering and math and those
are many subjects that american students do not want to train and get a degree in. we train them and allow them to get ph.d, but cannot allow the many opportunities to stay here. even though these are the types of people who have the skills and science and technology that we need for economic development and job creation. i think there is an irrationality in our current policy. we should stable a green card to the ph.d is of foreign students who are getting a ph.d. is in science and technology and math. next host: up is don in arlington va. -- , and host: next up is dawn in arlington, virginia. caller: good morning. i am spanish. i love this country. most greatest country in the world.
we have to be strong. lott is the law. we have to respect the american law. coming here and not paying taxes, having children like rats, no. you do not have no rights. if you do not like it, go back. host: you were born in spain? caller: i come from machu picchu. host: thanks for your call. guest: if there are people here illegally and they are not
paying taxes, they will not be granted citizenship under any of the major provisions that are circulating around congress. if they do not learn english, if they do not pay taxes and if they do not pass a criminal background test, they will not be granted citizenship. and basically, what we are suggesting is that for those illegals that are able to create these conditions, then we will court that path to citizenship if they have that job and will learn english and are not criminals. host: john is calling us from hollywood, florida. caller: my name is john and i'm an immigrant. i'm an investor from canada. there's a lot of misperception when it comes to immigration. my theory is this, a lot of immigrants see the opportunity in any market.
i came from canada and i invested in the united states of america. hi provide american people with not only houses, but also mortgages for them where the banks fail them. i paid all of my taxes. and i never got a penny back, not even for my income tax. i have my son and daughter going to school here in the united states and i'm paying out of state tuition. it is not like we are benefiting that much. we do have the privilege of seizing opportunity. and we try to contribute, but when we go to immigration to try to stay in the united states permanently because i'm an investor, i cannot stay. i see that canada benefits a lot
more than the united states by bringing be clean record people, buying the foreclosures, buying them cars, anything that they need in the household and, of course, paying taxes. we need immigrants with clean records. host: john, we will leave it there. john guest: sounds like a real immigrant success story -- guest: don sounds like a real immigrant success story. he has come here and invested his own resources and he has bought property and is raising his kids. if he is not unique. there are thousands others doing same thing. canada devotes a far greater percentage of its visa's for
employment related purposes. we devote only a small number of our visas for employment development and attracting investors like john. i just think we need to get more systematic about how we think about it. and we need to link immigration policy to a long-term economic development and individuals who can help rebuild our economy. host: darrell west is the author brain gain."ringin thank you for being with us. we're going to take a short break and then come back and talk about food policy. today is monday, december 27. will be right back.
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provided as a public service. host: this week on the "washington journal" we are starting a series examining food policy in america. and over the next five days will be discussing such topics as food safety legislation, issues facing small farmers, that is tuesday, wednesday, sustainable food and movement, thursday, childhood nutrition legislation, and friday, regulating organic food. today we are talking about food safety legislation. our guest this eric klein, a food safety attorney for science and the public interest. and welcome to the program. guest: thank you. host: tell us about the food safety bill that was just passed. what is in it and what is not in it and how will it affect what we eat? guest: the reality is that food safety affects all of us every day. every time we eat and we are, in
a sense, celebrating the american food system, but also taking a bit of a risk. this new legislation takes a great step forward in making sure that the risk is minimized. our food safety system was created over 100 years ago at a time when food production was much simpler. distribution was much closer. and we had a greater connection to where our food came from. now our food system is so complicated. could travel hundreds, if not thousands, of miles from the farm to our place. it goes through processors and different types of distribution facilities and all manner of things before it reaches us. the issues facing us are more complicated. this food safety bill tries to respond to the complexities of the current system. what it does is it shifts fpa's posture from a reactive posture
to a preventive posture. we have long treated fpa like a fire department kind of -- the fda like a fire department kind of racing to a call. by the time people are saying there is not much to be done to control the damage. this bill creates a way for the fda to be proactive and preventive so that people do not get sick. it does this in a number of ways. it will increase compliance by companies. this the first time that a bill has required companies to do several things to maintain safe food production. they will have to create food safety plans that are specific to the types of foods they are producing. they will have to monitor those plans, comply with them, and insure that they are adequate. and when they see a problem, they have to correct it on their own. this is not a catch you and we
will make a change. and most importantly, perhaps, is that they will be keeping records of all of this, of the plan, their compliance with it, the changes that they make, and the fda will have access to those plants for the first time. -- access to those plans for the first time. host: the bill modernizes our food safety system to better prevent food borne illnesses and respond to act breaks. -- outbreaks. we will talk about that with sarah kline. if you wanted involved in the conversation, give us a call. the numbers are on the screen. also if you have called in the
last 30 days, send us a tweet warren e-mail. we will have those addresses of for you shortly. our first phone call is max. you are on the "washington journal" with sarah kline. caller: this has as much to do with food safety as arsenic has to do with longevity of life. this bill does not address g. m.o. foods. it does not address the labeling of gtmo foods. gtmo foods -- gmo foods have been banned in other countries. this does not address the fluoride in the water. how these things are poison and talks his way -- toxic waste. codex element areas, if you are not familiar, they had a part in
writing this bill. these guys had a big deal in the bill. host: max, the train is starting to go off of the rails of a little bit. consider kline, first, tell us what is gmo, and does this legislation have any effect on this? guest: the caller is right that there are different hazards to the food supply and not all of them can be dealt with in a single bill. jim and commodified foods, many of them are present in -- genetically modified foods, many of them are present in our food right now. a genetically modified corn is in nearly everything that we eat. that is something that this bill does not touch on. this bill is pathogenic and
bacterial hazards. genetically modified foods are an important thing and something that consumers have a right to weigh in on. this bill reaches those things that may make you sick immediately after consumption, in the short term. and of course, just like nutrition, which you will get to later in the week, there are other food hazards that need to be addressed, and that may have long-term revocations -- implications for consumers. host: the next call is from new jersey. go to -- go ahead. caller: [unintelligible] -- iember in the 1980's when thein the 1980's
government put accommodations in place -- put regulations in place. guest: it is clear the callers and consumers have a real issue with a genetically modified products, and that is something that needs to be looked at. this bill was really looking at those things that can make you sick tomorrow and have come by nearly 50 million americans get sick every year from food borne illnesses. of those, hundreds will be hospitalized, and 3000 died every year from largely preventable food borne illnesses. food for the losses that come from things like the coli, salmonella -- food borne illnesses that come from things
like the coli and salmonella. host: and -- the earlier caller talked about cloning as well as fluoride in the water. are those things addressed in this particular bill? guest: those things are not addressed in this particular bill. i'm sure there will be things on the hill about that issue. this bill has been one that has been cooking for a long time, as it were, and it does not contain those particular elements. host: we are talking about food safety legislation with sarah klein. the next phone call comes from florida, victor on the line for democrats. caller: locally, we have the department of transportation and a test every truck driver to see that they are not a diabetic and are not using drugs. public safety and health. right here in florida, we have people that are serving food
that are hiv-positive and we need some legislation brought out that every six months, if you are going to work in any kind of food handling situation, whether at winn-dixie grocery store, a hospital, or a lunch room, that you are tested. you should know that you are free of all communicable diseases. this is a problem and you need to address it. guest: the caller makes an important point. that is, people who are handling food can and have unintentionally made consumers sick. this is something we see in restaurants all the time. nearly 40% of food borne illnesses are linked to restaurants. a lot of them are like norovirus, which is possible
diarrhea or stomach flu, but they're also more serious illnesses that have resulted from -- and there are also more serious illnesses that have resulted from restaurants. using the wrong cutting board for brahney, for example, or improperly cooking chicken -- for raw meat, for example, or improperly cooking chicken. these are people who are trained in food safety practices. this is largely something under the purview of your local and state health departments. these health departments provide training and inspection of restaurants. unfortunately, because health departments are so woefully and of -- underfunded, they have difficulty maintaining the level of inspections or testing that we would like to see. this is something that we would hope that the state and local
governments would look at carefully and think about whether they are properly funding their health departments to protect their consumers. host: you bring up the issue of funding, and one of the concerns i understand is, this bill, while it of date parameters regarding food safety -- while it updates parameters regarding food safety, it does not provide funding for this legislation to be effective. in your thoughts? guest: funding is always going to be the ability -- the achilles heel of things like this. there were fees that would have been assessed that would have gone on long way to paying for the bill. the fda has gone critical operations in the last several cycles, in part because congress has realize how important food safety is. consumers are getting sick, nearly 50 million per year. that adds up to health care costs and a drop in consumer
confidence in the food supply. these are things that nobody wants to see happening. host: what will it cost to monitor -- modernize the fda and where will the money come from? guest: it is unclear. the fda has a lot of opportunity in this bill to make dramatic changes, and those are expensive, but they have also been instructed to make some more incremental changes, you know, hiring more food safety inspectors. at this bill will offer the fda an opportunity to be aggressive about changing its posture. and with that will come some financial obligations, but it is very important that it be that to preserve public health. host: aggressive can they be,
though, with a long -- if along with these new mandates there is not the money to fund them? guest: there is money that has been appropriated over the last several cycles that can be carried over. and we have seen the of preparation going up for the fda and it is hoped that it will continue, the support for it. host: our next call comes from california, tom on the line. caller: my question ties in exactly with what you have been saying all along. it is the size of the federal bureaucracy, which it sounds like it is going to get even bigger with all of these new mandates, rules, and regulations, and often, one size fits all legislation. that is very difficult to carry out at the local and state level. as a republican kamal i'm interested in smaller
government -- as a republican, i'm interested in smaller government and i would like to know how much the cost will increase because of this and whether it is not worth it or whether we should assume more personal responsibility. host: thank you for your call, tom. two of these lists to say that the bill gives the fda the power to arrest backyard gardeners who do not follow safety standards. and it puts all food produced, even that in your own garden, under the department of homeland security. guest: those certainly sound like months, and they are. this bill does not reach into individual farms. it does not prevent you or control you in any way from building a garden in your backyard or gardening for individual consumption at all. in fact, there is a large amendment to this bill that
exempts broad swaths of farmers. if you are not selling more than $500,000 worth of produce than you are exempted from the bill. i bet is quite a lot of money. it will extend 95% of farmers. host: -- it will exempt 95% of farmers. host: bob, is on the line. you are on the "washington journal." caller: i was wondering about the immense amount of food coming over the border. will there be tighter inspections, since many of these products are not grown with the same legal -- products that are used in the united states. it will that be a tougher -- will that be a tougher inspection now? guest: we have a vast amount of
food coming from overseas that are often not produced in the same type of framework that we would like to see. historicallly, we have seen everything, from produce to ingredients coming from abroad. this bill will improve the safety of foreign foods. it will give the f.d.a. the offer synergy to create a certification program for foreign entities that would like foods in from overseas. it will be checking to see whether we feel like it is an equivalent system two hours. there will be a friend -- an equivalent system to ours. i want to go back and address
something that a previous caller said. the question was what about -- was about whether we should see more personal responsibility rather than food safety prevention. personal responsibility is not a panacea here. there is nothing you can do to take responsibility for the safety of your family if your spinach are rides to you with equalized. you cannot wash it off. but -- if your spinach are rides with e. coli. that is not something you can wash off as a consumer. we want consumers to be able to eat fresh, raw produce. we want consumers to be able to consume food in the way they would like to. that means the food needs to be safe when it leaves the farm, when it goes through processing, and when it goes to
the course restore and enter your plate. cert -- and when it goes to your place. -- when it goes to the grocery store and then to your plate. host: regarding imported food, the numbers provided by the fda show an estimated 15% of the u.s. food supply is imported, including 60% of fresh fruits and vegetables and 80% of seafood. our next call is from california, david your online with sarah kline. caller: unaware their response, new packaging technology that seems to address some of these food safety issues. could you give us an update on what you know of the latest food packaging technology? guest: i'm not sure exactly what the caller is referring to about packaging technology, but it is
important to know there are a lot of technologies being used right now in the produce industry to try to minimize contamination. i mentioned spinach and i will not give them a shot out. the same people responsible for the 2007 spinach outbreak, that for the start of a lot of this consumer awareness that even produce could be something that could make them sick were also responsible for the triple wash bagged lettuce that we now see in our grocery store. this is something that has gone through several layers of high- tech washing. it is not what you would do in your sink at home. they are doing a lot of approved technologies and soaps and washes to ensure that the lettuce is as safe as it can be. it has to be grown and under conditions that are safe, of
course. because as we have seen, the contamination can get inside your produce. but it is something that is very interesting. food is not as simple as it used to be and unfortunately, that means there is more risk involved, but also, perhaps more technology for technology to help us out. -- more opportunity for technology to help us out. host: bill writes on twitter -- guest: i think it is important to note that we are talking about two different kinds of risks, two different kinds of safety. i often call it a acute risks. the pathogens like e. coli, salmonella and others, those are
things we can see within days. then there are other things like mercury, chemical additives, food dyes, these are things that can overtime at up to severe consequences. it is not to say there are not risks from these other things like additives, guys, trans fats, etc. it is also -- food dyes, trans fats, etc. is also to say there are acute risks. host: we are talking about food policy in america all week here on the "washington journal" and today we are talking about food safety legislation with sarah kline. she is a food safety attorney. tomorrow we will be dealing with issues facing small farmers, wednesday, sustainable food movement, thursday, a childhood nutrition legislation, and friday, regulating organic food. back to the phones.
george on the line for democrats. caller: i'm very concerned about the compliant aspect of this bill. at best, if congress fully funds this bill, you will have inspections once every three years of domestic food facilities. a lot can go wrong in those three years. and we are still relying on cult -- on companies to police themselves. and as opposed to the usda the requires daily inspection of meat and poultry plants, here we are only talking about once every three years. i notice this morning there have been three recalls involving alfalfa sprouts, pastries from wholefoods. if fully implemented, how would this bill have avoided those recalls? guest: the caller is right, this bill takes a great step forward,
but is certainly not perfect. inspecting facilities once every three years is woefully inadequate. it is more adequate and once every 10 years, but not getting us all the way there. as the caller mentioned by the usda is under a completely different from work. they have inspectors in facilities all day. it is continuous inspection. that is something that the fda does not have. the caller makes a great point, this bill is not going to solve the food safety problems. it is a problem that needs to be seen as a stepping stone. one of my colleagues called it an unfinished play plot. it is not perfect -- an unfinished clay pot. it is not perfect and there are a lot of things need to be done. many consumers do not know that there is no such thing as a mandatory recall under the current system. except for one camacho --
commodity, baby formula. not infant food, but before rep. that means everything is under -- but baby formula. that means everything is under a voluntary recall. that means the company can choose to pull its product or not. as the caller knows, we are not all we there yet. host: if you were in warren, maine, sent us this e-mail. guest: unfortunately, that is something that was dulcie with -- on dealt with in the tester amendment. -- that was something not dealt with in the tester amendment. farmers will not be kept a
record of in this bill unless they are selling over $500,000 worth of product. as long as they stay within 275 miles of their home, and under $500,000 worth of product. small farmers will not have to worry about this. it is important to note that those who would begithe concernd about such a notion, if there is something definitively linked to that small farm, that privilege will be revoked. they have the ability to produce food the way they should, safely, so long as they are producing safely. in a matter of whether you are selling product to 10 people or 100,000 people, you still have the responsibility to produce food safely. host: will this make food cost
more? for guest: we hope not, but it is hard to say. it is hard to say whether thand they will pass this cost on to consumers. they really want consumers to be feeling good again and let's hope that means they will not pass the costs on to consumers. host: branch rights in -- -- brent right spin. guest: i would say anyone in -- interested in making it not, use unpasteurized -- used unpasteurized. i cannot in good conscience tell
everyone -- tell anyone to consume a raw egg. there were some major outbreaks this the past year in raw eggs. we have some safety regulations that will hopefully improve that scenario. but let's stick with pasteurized eggs if we are going to be eating them raw. host: we are talking with sarah klein, food safety attorney with the center for public interest. the next call comes from john in the ohio. -- in ohio. caller: thank you for c-span. my wife and i grow peppers and tomatoes, basically, and we can, for ourselves. but of course, everybody likes our papers. i have now about 3 acres that i can use to grow more covers, and
i would like to start canning them and selling them. i was wondering where i can do this legally, whether there is a website i can go to so that i can start selling my canned goods legally. guest: i would advise the caller to do two things first. the first would go to be -- would go to fda.gov to see what requirements they need to meet and what they need to do to produce and sell food legally. and i would advise them to contact their local health department. the local health department can be very useful in explaining exactly what you should be doing to keep everybody safe. host: and if you want more information about the center for the science and public interest, you can go to their website. next up, mississippi on the line
for republicans, daniel. caller: you want to pass this bill, but it is going to raise taxes and it is going to raise food costs on the price of the food. we are buying a lot of food from overseas. why can't we slowdown on buying food from overseas and start putting it over here so it can pay for the regulations? host: i guess, part of that question involves the food that is imported will be subjected to the same regulations and -- as the food grown here in the united states. guest: yes, in the past we have food grown overseas that has not intended to the kind of the same strict regulations that our companies have already been. that is an unplait -- that is an unfair playing field. now we will see greater
restrictions on producers at overseas and the result, we hope, is that it will be safer food. we know that a lot of it is coming open -- coming from abroad and it is important to know that it is being produced in a safer from work. host: diana's calling on the line for democrats. caller: this whole bill, unfortunately, is a myth. someone from the fda's shourd will go to jail from the harm from the -- should go to jail from the arm from the contaminated eggs that were pasteurized. the disgusting conditions of the animal feeding operations that americans have been saying for years for be shut down, you can go to the internet to see
the fda getting on small ecological forms with swat teams, confiscating foods and all kinds of agricultural products that have no evidence of harm. in the mid 1990's the fda made the choice of not shutting these contaminated farms down with their dirty eggs and animal cruelty, and instead, promoted pasteurization fourth, the solution. the real solution is not for people to buy from they're logical farms so they can see how the chickens are being raised -- from their local farms so they can see how the chickens are being raised. the fda is trying to tell us that animals from cloned products are safe. and the fda has even tried to ban their own workers. i just want to end with a quote from a worker who said, this is not where the fox is guarding
the hen house. this is where the fox does not know where the henhouse is. host: diana, can you give me a specific example of where the center for the public interest has worked with the fda on trying to cover something up? guest: on promoting -- caller: on promoting pastorization, like your guest just talked about. -- promoting pasteurization, like your guest just talked about. when you pasteurized products, your -- you are destroying nutrients. the solution is not to pasteurize, but to shut down the facilities: -- causing the problem. guest: the eggs in the recent outbreaks that sickened so many people were not, in fact, unpasteurized. those four raw eggs and they had not been pastor any he taught treating -- had not
unpasteurized and had not been he treated. consumers are not quite sure what it means to pasteurize something. many consumers do erroneously believe that you are destroying important nutrients by pasteurizing something. there is very little destruction of anything critical in the pasteurizing process. and the city benefits from pasteurizing things, primarily male, are extraordinary. -- the safety benefits from pasteurizing things, primarily milk, are extraordinary. some 20% of all food borne illnesses were linked to dairy products previously, now it is 1% because milk is pasteurized. it is important that we not spread myths simply because something is not pasteurized, that it is safer. host: explain how you pasteurized egg.
because from what i understand pasteurizing milk involves keeping it. if you keep an egg, you end up with an omelet. a guest: i am not a scientist, but the process is very similar. your talk about shooting something to a high temperature, but for a very brief moments in time. it does not change the quality of the head. you can still bake with an egg that has been pasteurized. i use them at home myself. frankly, i prefer a slightly runny eggs, so i prefer unpasteurized eggs. it is hard to find pasteurize shell eggs, but they are out there. i would like to offer the consumers who are interested in things that have not been pasteurized need to look at the science behind those issues.
there is a lot of bad science going on, promoting things that have not been pasteurized and it is simply dangerous for consumers, especially the very young and older consumers. if you are interested in things like rahm hill, i would urge you to look in -- like raw milk, i would urge you to look into these things and look at places like fda.gov for more on those issues. host: on the line for your on the line. caller: i will not talk long. i first question is, why does congress takes a long in passing bills, and why can't they incorporate more related issues
in one bill to make it move along faster? i think they could get -- they could pass it in a couple of weeks as the president makes it mandatory. and also, i was wondering it cannot be -- i think it's true be mandatory that the inspectors follow a regimented time schedule where they inspect and if they're found to be unacceptable, immediately, they should be shut down. if guest: the caller makes a good point that this bill did take a long time to get to passage. that is something that was unfortunate for consumers. it is the reality of the way things get done here in washington. attaching things to the bill that are unrelated or tangentially related are: to make it more difficult to pass. -- are going to make it more
difficult to pass. but it was a bipartisan bill, a bipartisan effort all the way through. the effort to pass this bill has a bunch of unlikely allies coming together, recognizing to safety is not an issue that only consumer advocates care about or only industry cares about, but that all of us care about. it is not something that we can ignore any longer. 50 million people per year are getting sick. you'll be talking about nutrition later in the week, which has been a big priority. the food safety has been up there as well. obama created a working group early on to look at food safety issues. we are happy to see that it got through. but of course, we would like to see it speechreading clicker.com -- it the speed it
through even quicker. host: next call is from okeechobee. good morning. caller: i am on may 2,500 acre vegetable farm. our vendors require that -- i am on a 2,500 acre vegetable farm. require as to go through certain steps. nafta has opened up a floodgate from mexico and some of the other countries in south america, and even overseas in china and asia. our inspections are very limited, but what are their inspections? does anyone have an idea on that? guest: the caller makes a good point, and one that we have touched on a little bit, that is, that the requirements of overseas producers have not always been the same as the requirements that we place on
our producers here. it is great that she is undergoing extensive training. i am glad to hear it. pesticide application is important not just for the end product, but also the health of the worker. it is important to remember that there are people producing our food. there are farmers, small and large, farmworkers and the entire system is comprehensive. you cannot have safe food, if you have, for example, pesticide workers that are not trained properly. all of this is a holistic system. we hope to see that reflected both in this legislation moving forward, and the way that it is implemented by the fda, and the way that we move ahead to the next challenge. host: our next call comes from
ted on the line from democrat -- for democrats. caller: i am concerned about the produce from mexico, which is mostly what we have here in the wintertime. and that is due to the state of the rivers in mexico, which of course, they are used for irrigation. the state of the reverse, unfortunately, are basically the main conduits -- the state of the rivers, unfortunately, are basically the main conduits for sewage. we know not to eat the water -- drink the water in mexico, but we will eat the vegetables made and grown with the same water. guest: the caller has a good point and we need to make sure that it is not just in your application